Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Adapted from an U.S. Energy Information Administration report; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

A near record amount of coal-powered electricity is poised to shut down this year, according to recently released federal data.

Why it matters: President Trump has promised to revive the coal industry, but virtually all objective market trends and analysis indicate that’s not going to happen in any sizable manner.

By the numbers:

  • Roughly 13 gigawatts of coal electricity at more than a dozen different units across the country are set to retire this year, according to the U.S. federal U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department.
  • That amount is second only to 2015 when nearly 15 gigawatts of coal power shut down.
  • Coal’s share of the electricity generation mix, which as recently as a decade ago was close to 50%, is projected to fall below 30% this year, according to EIA’s short-term energy outlook released Tuesday.
  • Driven by exports, coal production increased by 6% last year, but it’s expected to decline by 2% this year and next.

Why it’s all happening: A primary reason for the near-record amount of coal electricity shutdowns this year is persistently cheap natural gas prices, while in 2015 the reason was largely a pending deadline to comply with an environmental regulation requiring power plants to cut pollution of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants, according to EIA analyst Scott Jell. Coal emits far more pollution than natural gas.

Yes, but: Jell said EIA’s projections are based off announced intentions to shut down plants, which could change from what ultimately ends up occurring.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

4 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.